The first mention in history of a surface to air missile was by inventor Dr. Gustav Rasmus in 1931, in which a missile would home in on an aircraft by sound, with intentions to destroy the aircraft. Development of surface-to-air missiles began in Nazi Germany during late World War II with explosive missiles that seek and destroy any aircraft within range. nitial performance goals were target intercept at a horizontal range of 10 miles and 30,000 feet altitude, with a 300 to 600 pound explosive warhead for a 30 to 70 percent kill probability. Heavy ship losses due to Kamikaze attacks during the Battle of Okinawa provided additional incentive for guided missile development.
Modern SAM weapons are more mobile than they were during World War II. Most SAM Missiles are mounted on tanks, ships, trucks, submarines, and even carried by infantrymen. They aren't cheep, but they are effective.